27 August 2008

Starting out as a webmaster

There is no doubt that the learning curve when you start out running your own website is a fairly steep one. there are lots of things to get your head around; deciding on a domain name, deciding what the focus of your site will be, making content for your site, deciding how to generate money from your website or blog and deciding who to sign up with. Then there is having to grapple with the basics of HTML, php, CGI and so on.

Fortunately these days many web hosting services make this task a little easier and there are nearly always automated scripts that help make your life easier.

Nevertheless it is still important that you understand the basics of being a webmaster and that you have a good grounding in some of the fundamental aspects of website management and Internet marketing.

There are lots of resources out there on the Internet to help you do this and in future posts I am going to review some of these. However for many of us while the Internet is a great place to find information there is nothing to beat having a good hardcopy reference book.

If you are just starting out I can recommend WebMastering for Dummies from the "for dummies" series. This is an excellent starter and will have you up and running on the basics in no time. If you are looking to make money on the internet you will probably want a PayPal account at some point and the same authors have a PayPal for Dummies book available. Check out current prices on these books.

Getting in a bit deeper you need to know something about HTML , CSS and ideally also learn something about PHP and MySQL. PHP is a very powerful way to code your website to do all sorts of things and you really will need to know some of the basics about this before too long. MySQL is a database system that is offered by many web hosting companies.

I have done a search for UK book suppliers offering the best books on these subjects so if you are needing a bit more hardcopy reference material these are excellent resources. I will post some more on this on another occasion and give US sources for this type of material. I can particularly recommend the SAMS books that you will find in this link.

HTML, CSS, PHP and Linux books

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